How to Make Disciples Effectively: Transcript Day 50
What does it mean to make disciples effectively? A disciple is a follower of Christ, but it’s more than that. The idea of a “Christ-follower” has been diluted, in my opinion. It means someone who is a copier of Jesus – who tries to live exactly as Jesus would if he was you.
To help with that process, and create a better strategy for making disciples, Darrell Stetler has created the NewStart Discipleship program. If you’d like to get a free copy of the NewStart Discipleship Journal AND a free copy of the NewStart Discipleship Journal, you can click here to start your journey toward making disciples, even in a smaller church.
Here’s a transcript of one of the mentoring videos from the NewStart Discipleship Journal:
New Start Discipleship Day 50
Hey there, a New Start Discipleship, day 50. You have reached the end of an epic 50-day journey through the Word of God, kind of catching the highlights and getting the big grasp of the strategy of God's story, I am so proud of where you are, that is absolutely fantastic.
Today, we're in Malachi the final book of the Old Testament. And in the Old Testament, there's this story kind of wrapping everything up it's the last, Malachi is the last of the Old Testament prophets and he cries out for the wholehearted devotion of God's people to God. And he says, he has a lot of questions that he asks and he says, Israel’s doubting God, and they're questioning is like do you really love us Lord do you, what is this that you're doing, why are we not seeing everything that we want to see. And he talks about how they are breaking God's covenant, they're walking away again by giving God half-hearted devotion right? They're giving God something and listen the tragic danger of modern religion and I’m talking about true in every denomination every place the tragic danger and flaw of modern religion in all times, in all places; ancient religion, in modern religion honestly is this, giving God something without giving him everything. The danger, the flaw the incredible danger of religion is giving god something but never giving him everything. And I would challenge you as you read Malachi to realize that you can't give God part of your life.
Yet Malachi is going to go on to talk about how the sacrifices they make to God are half-hearted and blemished. They're bringing not the best to the Lord; he's going to talk about in chapter 2, how they're breaking the covenant with God through their marriages and their divorces and they're broken relationships. And then they're in chapter 3 talks about how they're breaking the law of God through injustice they're not being careful to make sure that God's righteousness is equally distributed across different lines and places.
And then also, he talks about withholding, their withholding giving in tithes. You've probably heard the word tithe you'll see it in here and I would encourage you to be a giver, a tithe means a 10th one like 10% and so out of every $100 $10 goes to the lord, right? As a in the Jewish system and I would say that in the New Testament system you are free to give more than that but I think it is appropriate that we recognize that that giving to the Lord is an appropriate way to give to him. And I would encourage you wherever you attend church, wherever you go to seek, to put the lord at the primary position of your finances because he owns 100% of everything that you have. And all of it should be used for his honor, and his glory and not only our own desires and likes, right? But I do think that it's appropriate to say at a minimum 10% is recognizable, in fact I actually have a friend who every year of his life has graduated tithing so he gave 10% in the first year of his married life, 11% in the second year, 12% in the third year and each year he's tried to give and raise the standard of giving not just a standard of living and I think that's beautiful and appropriate however the bottom line is of Malachi is you need to give God everything. Don't walk away from giving God everything that you have.
Now at the end he says this at the very end of chapter 4:5;
“See I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the lord comes and he will turn the hearts of the parents to the children and the hearts of the children to their parents or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
This prophecy of the coming of Elijah is not a literal resurrection of Elijah, but it was recognized as by the children of Israel as an important concept and guess who fulfilled it John the Baptist Jesus cousin 400 years later, like this Malachi writes, and then God goes silent for 400 years.
And it's a powerful moment in Israel's history because they struggle and they wrestle, they get stricter and stricter and stricter with the law. But they don't recognize that Jesus is coming and when they think it's a political kingdom that he's bringing. Instead, God says, I want to come and give you grace and conquer sin in your hearts. And they fail to recognize him in many ways when he comes.
And so, here's what happens. I get a little a little over five minutes today. Here's what happens between the covenants, alright? Here's what happens between everything. And I want to just sketch this really quick. After Malachi writes, after he promises the coming of Elijah, God goes silent. For 400 years, there's no more word from the Lord. And it's a time of upheaval in difficulty in hard moments and hard times. And, in fact, when people go silent, right, like we feel like talk to me, what's going on? Why are you quiet? Why are you not saying anything? And that's what happens with the children of Israel, they start to like, no, come on, come on what's going on.
And then we read in the first part of the book of John, which we read back beginning of this 50-day journey, the first thing we read is,
“In the beginning, was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
Why is Jesus called the Word? Because he's God's way of communicating. He is the final, ultimate revelation, the living Word of God, not just the spoken word through the prophets, but the living word of God coming and stepping into our lives. And it's a powerful, powerful moment when Jesus shows up, and God is no longer silent. And so that's where we are with Malachi. In that 400 years, there's a lot of things that happened historically, that set the world up for Jesus to show up and for the gospel to spread. And it's a powerful, powerful thing.
So, I am just excited to see you out here. Here's the next thing I want you to don't skip the last scan, okay? The last scan in your little book, there is there's a final scan right here. That is, congratulations, alright? It is a message that I think will take us on into what's next like, okay? I'm done with my 50 days. What's next? All right. We'll talk about that tomorrow. Little long day over five minutes. God bless you. See you tomorrow. Actually, I'll see you at the congratulation’s thing. God bless you.
Darrell Stetler II blogs about discipleship in the small church, and talks about how to make disciples on his Youtube channel. He can be found on Twitter @darrellstetler2 and Facebook’s NewStart Disciple-Makers group.